And Now for Something Completely Different

Not long ago — in the 32-bit days of MacOS, the OSX days — it had a feature built-in to the Keychain Access tool that would create pronounceable passwords.

They removed it.


So, I came up with a trivial bash-based solution.

And, as its ReadMe says:

Quick tool to generate meaningful memorable password phrases.

Presently in macOS 10.15.5, the Password Assistant offers only these four options with (examples for reference):

  • Letters & Numbers: BWib0hGLZg0N…
  • Numbers Only: 3311049148…
  • Random: x*B{m6MNH…
  • FIPS-181 Compliant: wehritirby…

Every one of them will generate a password that is either quite difficult for a human to remember, or, paradoxically, trivially-simple for a computer to brute-force. See also: xkcd #936

This is an expeditious interim solution.

Uses the word list that is included with all macOS / OS X versions and randomly selects a word length and uses generally-safe characters to separate them.


Only need to run the script:


Also, seriously, just read the shell script before you run it. It’s not very long at all and not at all complex — it does contain some rather uncommon bash terms.

But if you’re scratching your head for a password when you create a new account somewhere, rather than rely on the old standards of ‘changeme’, ‘password1’, ‘12345’, or ‘correct horse battery staple’ (or any other amazingly common passwords), just type and it’ll create and present to you a sufficiently-random password that you can just copy/paste into the account creation and your keyring.